Sunday, April 27, 2008

A Mayor for New Media: London's Candidates Compared

Thank the lord I've received my polling card so can now vote in tomorrow's mayoral election. And if who to vote for wasn't bleedin' obvious as far as I'm concerned, here's a highly unscientific round-up of the big 3 and their new media credentials.

Brian Paddick
2,189 Supporters on Facebook
Facebook groups are pretty sparse on the ground, although I was diverted by the best mayoral tribute group "Ken's the best mayor but I fancy Brian Paddick so much I might vote for him".
40 friends on MySpace
Active Twitter user for the past few weeks at least (60 updates) - and has replied to questions directed @brianpaddick
A nice selection of videos on Youtube on the official Libdem channel and rather coolly released his campaigning video on Youtube before it was on TV.

Ken Livingstone
2,277 supporters on Facebook
Facebook groups are all very anti-Ken, a little disturbingly so in some cases ("twat" not the mildest of terms to have passed Facebook's profanity filter)
C0uldn't find a MySpace and Ken's not on Twitter either.
A good selection of videos on Youtube and a great section on his site which highlights all the other "proper" blogs writing good stuff about Ken - a good example of amplifying buzz simply by pointing it out as well as utilizing and publishing work that his team are no doubt doing anyway rather than possibly [whisper it] wasting time updating a MySpace page or Twitter.

Boris Johnson
7,773 supporters on Facebook and a much livelier page than the others with his like and dislikes - you know, like a proper Facebook person would have.
48 subscribers, 1,635 views to his campaign's Youtube channel (chaps above are using their party's channel).
@backboris has tweeted nearly as much as @brianpaddick
but is only following 1 person!
His campaign started ages ago on MySpace of all places although the official BackBoris MySpace friends number 101, but the daft spoof Boris page over 900.

In summary - as in life, web:
  • Brian Paddick ticks all the right boxes but just fails to pull it off (if Jonty from Big Brother's your celebrity supporter, one might conclude you're in trouble... Scarlett Johansson he aint - although a little more articulate).

  • Ken may be fundamentally flawed but outstyles his opponents in a couple of key areas

  • Boris amuses and delights but just lacks credibility where it counts

But, at the end of the day, how do you decide the candidate for you? I suppose you could do worse than the BBC channel on Youtube or alternatively ... FIGHT!

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